basketball Edit

ND finalizing deal with Micah Shrewsberry to become men's basketball coach

Micah Shrewsberry hinted at the future he was building as Penn State’s head coach following its 71-66 loss to Texas on Saturday in the second round of the men’s basketball NCAA Tournament.

Instead, Shrewsberry will be building a future at Notre Dame after two seasons leading the Nittany Lions. The Irish are expected to hire the 46-year-old coach to replace Mike Brey, who stepped down after 23 seasons leading Notre Dame’s program.

Sources confirmed with Inside ND Sports on Wednesday that Notre Dame is finalizing a deal with Shrewsberry. ESPN's Pete Thamel first reported the news. The deal with Shrewsberry is reportedly a seven-year commitment.

“You want it to be sustainable, right?” Shrewsberry told reporters of Penn State’s success after the season-ending loss to Texas. “Like, we're not going to be satisfied with this. It's like, ‘All right, cool. Ten years from now let's go back to the tournament.’ No, we worked for it every single day.

“There's a lot that goes into it. You have to have the right people, you have to have the right mix of guys, you have to have the right work ethic and then things can fall into place. That's what we're gearing up to do and that's what we're trying to do each and every year.”


Notre Dame men's basketball has found its new head coach in Penn State's Micah Shrewsberry.
Notre Dame men's basketball has found its new head coach in Penn State's Micah Shrewsberry. (Reese Strickland-USA Today Sports)

Shrewsberry, an Indiana native who spent 14 seasons of his 25-season coaching career in his home state, will have a lot of work ahead of him to rebuild a Notre Dame program that won a pair of NCAA Tournament games a year ago then cratered to a 11-21 record with six graduate students on its roster and a thin bench rotation.

The Irish are expected to lose their top six scorers from last season. Graduate seniors Nate Laszewski (13.7 points per game), Dane Goodwin (11.3), Marcus Hammond (9.9) and Trey Wertz (8.4) have all exhausted their eligibility. Graduate senior Cormac Ryan (12.3) should have a sixth season of eligibility remaining, but he’s made no indication that he plans to return to Notre Dame. And freshman JJ Starling (11.2) has already committed to Syracuse after entering the transfer portal on the first day he could do so.

Two other players from last year's Notre Dame roster entered the transfer portal last week: graduate senior guard Robby Carmody, who played in just seven games the past three seasons due to injury, and freshman forward Dom Campbell, who scored seven points in 10 appearances under Brey. Both could opt to return to Notre Dame if Shrewsberry invites them back.

Otherwise Shrewsberry will be left, for now, with four returning scholarship players — juniors Matt Zona and Tony Sanders Jr., sophomore J.R. Konieczny and freshman Ven-Allen Lubin — and one incoming freshman still signed with the Irish, three-star point guard Markus Burton.

A pair of former Notre Dame signees — three-star shooting guards Parker Friedrichsen and Brady Dunlap — were released from their letters-of-intent after Brey announced in January he was stepping down following the season. Friedrichsen has since committed to Wake Forest. Dunlap has not settled on a new destination and could revisit the Irish under Shrewsberry.

Zona, Zanders, Konieczny and/or Lubin could all test the transfer portal market as well depending on how they see themselves fitting in Shrewsberry’s program.

Fortunately for Notre Dame, Shrewsberry knows a bit about roster construction and management in the transfer portal era. Before Shrewsberry coached his first game for Penn State in the 2021-22 season, half of the team’s eight-man rotation, including the top two scorers, left via the transfer portal. But Shrewsberry managed to convince two other players who entered the portal that offseason to stick with Penn State. One of those was Seth Lundy, who became the team’s No. 2 scorer in each of Shrewsberry’s two seasons.

Penn State’s leading scorer the past two seasons, Jalen Pickett, joined the Nittany Lions after being recruited by Shrewsberry as a Siena transfer portal entry. He improved his scoring average from 13.3 points per game in 2021-22 to 17.7 this past season in which Penn State (23-14) made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011. When second-team All-America honors came Pickett’s way earlier this month, he became Penn State’s first All-American since 1955.

Penn State’s third- and fourth-leading scorers this past season were also transfer portal additions: Andrew Funk (Bucknell) and Camren Wynter (Drexel). Both came to Penn State in the previous offseason as graduate transfers.


Shrewsberry also welcomed what Penn State called its highest-ranked recruiting class in program history this past offseason. Rivals ranked Penn State’s 2022 class of five three-star signees at No. 21 nationally. Three of those signees — Kebba Njie, Kanye Clary and Evan Mahaffey — played in at least 32 games and averaged at least nine minutes per game.

The 2022-23 season offered a stark contrast in the coaching styles of Shrewsberry and Brey. Penn State had 11 players average more than seven minutes per game throughout the season. Notre Dame only had seven players reach that average even in a lost season.

In November, Shrewsberry signed a three-man class ranked No. 42 in the country by Rivals. It included a pair of three-star recruits — his son Braeden Shrewsberry and Logan Imes — and the highest-ranked Penn State signee in the Rivals era (since 2002), Carey Booth. Booth is the son of former Penn State star Calvin Booth, the current general manager for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets.

Shrewsberry’s two seasons at Penn State with a 37-31 record accounted for just his second stint as a head coach. His first came at Indiana University South Bend, an NAIA program, from 2005-07. The Titans improved from 3-28 in Shrewsberry’s first season to 12-20 in his second season.

Shrewsberry, a graduate of Indianapolis Cathedral High and Hanover College, started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Indianapolis for the 1999-2000 season. He spent the next three seasons as a Division III assistant coach at Wabash (one season) and DePauw (two). Then Shrewsberry spent two seasons as Marshall’s director of basketball operations before taking over at IUSB.

In 2007, Shrewsberry connected with head coach Brad Stevens at Butler. Shrewsberry was hired as coordinator of basketball operations before being promoted to assistant coach after one season. He left Butler for an assistant coaching job at Purdue in 2011. He spent two seasons with the Boilermakers before Stevens hired him to be one of his assistants for the NBA’s Boston Celtics.

Shrewsberry worked in Boston for six seasons, then returned to Purdue as associate head coach for two seasons. That was his last stop before being hired at Penn State.

The Nittany Lions were thought to be considering a significant raise for Shrewsberry after making an NCAA Tournament appearance and improving the team’s win total by nine games between his first and second seasons. But Notre Dame managed to bring him back to his home state where he can start to build again. The values he sowed in Penn State’s program should be able to take root at Notre Dame too.

"Everyone talks about culture," Shrewsberry said in October. “To me, culture is not about words, it's about actions. We want to be a development program. We want to be a program that values hard work and you are starting to see it. You are seeing the actions.

“It's not me saying it. You see people doing it and that is how a culture is built and sustained.”



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